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EYE SPY – BOLLYWOOD GOSSIP WITH ASJAD NAZIR


Thirty Thing To Look Forward To This Year

FROM MOVIES AND MUSIC TO STARS, A FIRST-LOOK GUIDE TO 2018

IT IS only the beginning of the year, but there are already plenty of things to looking forward to in 2018.

There will be everything from highprofile films and concerts to great free cultural events and unexpected surprises. With that in mind, here are 30 entertainment-related things in no particular order that will make this is a great year…

  1. Thugs Of Hindostan: The most highprofile Bollywood film of the year will be released in cinemas globally during Diwali. Aamir Khan and Fatima Sana Sheikh return after the blockbuster success of their record-breaking movie Dangal with an action adventure set in 1790. Amitabh Bachchan and Katrina Kaif also star in the big budget drama, which is expected to clock up huge numbers at the box office.
  2. Saaho: South Indian actor Prabhas has become a global sensation after the record-breaking success of the two epic Baahubaali movies and audiences are eagerly awaiting his return to the big screen. He will next be seen in Saaho, which will be released in a number of languages and is expected to generate big box office numbers. Shraddha Kapoor also stars in the action-drama, which will boast state-ofthe-art special effects.
  3. Harshdeep Kaur: The acclaimed Bollywood and Sufi singer will deliver two not-to-be-missed UK concerts in March. The voice behind Bollywood songs like), Katiya Karun (Rockstar), Heer (Jab Tak Hai Jaan), Bari Barsi (Band Baaja Baaraat) and Kabira (Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani) is known for her stunning voice. You can catch her at Barbican Centre, London on March 27 and Town Hall, Birmingham on March 28.
  4. Hollywood Brits: British actors Dev Patel and Riz Ahmed will continue their recent remarkable run in Hollywood. Dev joins an ensemble cast that includes Armie Hammer and Jason Isaacs in Hotel Mumbai, which is a thriller about the Mumbai terror attack that took place in 2008. Riz has roles in super-hero film Venom and dark comedy The Sisters Brothers. Expect them to also sign up further big projects.
  5. Awesome album: Ace music producer Naughty Boy is due to deliver what looks like one of the most hotly-anticipated albums of the year in April. The cool collection of songs will have big-name singers, exciting new talent, unexpected surprises and appeal to a wide cross-section of audiences.
  6. Padmavati: The most anticipated Bollywood movie of 2017 was forced to postpone its release because of unnecessary political pressure and ill-informed protests. I have been reliably informed the Sanjay Leela Bhansali-directed historical epic starring Shahid Kapoor, Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh will be releasing this year.
  7. Bollywood newcomers: The Indian film industry will be welcoming plenty of newcomers this year, which includes children of established stars making their debuts. You can look forward to seeing Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh’s daughter Sara Ali Khan, Suniel Shetty’s son Ahan Shetty, Sridevi’s daughter Jhanvi Kapoor, and Shahid Kapoor’s brother, Ishaan Khatter.
  8. Maula Jatt: The most anticipated and high-profile Pakistani film of 2018 is expected to clock up huge numbers when it releases in the summer. A remake of the classic Lollywood action-drama of the same name has an impressive star cast that includes Fawad Khan, Mahira Khan, Hamza Ali Abbasi and Humaima Malick. This will be one of many movies releasing from the fast re-emerging Pakistani film industry.
  9. Fabulous festvals: The annual London Indian Film Festival and London Asian Film Festival will once again showcase great films. The festivals will have everything from movie premieres to big-name celebrities attending their annual celebrations of South Asian cinema. Log onto www.londonindianfilmfestival.co.uk and www.tonguesonfire.com to find out more.
  10. Shreya Ghoshal: Bollywood queen Shreya Ghoshal returns to the UK for her annual high-profile tour, which like every year is expected to be sold-out. The undisputed queen of Bollywood will deliver concerts at the beginning of May at Symphony Hall in Birmingham (5), The SSE Arena London (6) and De Montfort Hall in Leicester (7). Visit www.rockonmusicuk. co.uk to find out more.
  11. Alchemy Festival: The annual festival will return at Southbank Centre in London. The great celebration of South Asian music, dance and culture will once again have a powerful line-up, high-profile shows and plenty of free events. Keep an eye on www.southbankcentre.co.uk for the line-up in the coming months.
  12. Regional language cinema: More Indian regional language films than ever before are being released in cinemas across the UK. Look out for Punjabi, Tamil, Malayalam and Telugu language films, including ones at high-profile events like the annual London Film Festival in October. The biggest regional film will be mega-budget sci-fi drama 2.0 starring Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar, which will release in six languages.
  13. Film preview: Look out for Eastern Eye’s annual film preview in the coming weeks. I will give you a rundown of 50 movies to look out for and what to expect in each one. There are some great movies on the way from around the world that will make us forget how bad a year for cinema 2017 was.
  14. Sanjay Dutt biopic: Director Raj Kumar Hirani will follow up record-breaking movies PK and 3 Idiots with his ambitious biopic of Sanjay Dutt, with Ranbir Kapoor playing the troubled actor. Most critics are expecting the eye-opening drama to be one of the finest biopics ever made in Bollywood.
  15. Satinder Sartaaj: The popular singer returns to the UK for a five-date UK tour in early March, where he will be accompanied by a full live orchestra and deliver his greatest hits. You can catch him at Empire Theatre, Sunderland (1), Symphony Hall in Birmingham (3), De Montfort Hall in Leicester (4), Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton (9) and SSE Arena London (11). Visit www.sartaajlive.com to find out more.
  16. Hot couple: There is no denying that the hottest celebrity couple in India right now is the newly-married Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma. They will be lighting up social media, the red carpet and news headlines. Sponsors, brands and TV channels will want to cash in on the popularity of the big-hitting batsman and his actress wife.
  17. Plenty of laughs: There are perhaps more talented British Asian comedians than ever before shining brightly on the UK stand-up circuit and entertaining audiences with their explosive humour. Paul Chowdhry, Imran Yusuf, Paul Sinha, Shazia Mirza, Mickey Sharma, Bilal Zafar, Aatif Nawaz, Nish Kumar, Sindhu Vee, Sukh Ojla and Romesh Ranganathan are just some of those to catch live this year. Log onto www.ents24.com for tour dates.
  18. Twitter trouble: There will almost definitely be a celebrity who will get into trouble on social media. The frontrunner to send out an incendiary tweet is Bollywood legend Rishi Kapoor, who regularly gets into hot water for his inappropriate posts on the micro-blogging site.
  19. Priyanka Chopra: Recently voted the hottest Asian woman on the planet, the A-list superstar will continue her impressive journey in Hollywood. You can catch her in high-profile projects including series three of TV series Quantico along with supporting roles for Hollywood movies A Kid Like Jake and Isn’t It Romantic.
  20. Bollywood cover versions: The trend of taking classic Bollywood songs and remixing them for modern-day audiences will continue with more high-profile films. While most won’t match up to the original, there will be some genuine chartbusters in there.
  21. Roop Kumar and Sunali Rathod: The acclaimed Indian music couple will return to the UK for their Beyond Love tour in late April. There will be concerts featuring everlasting ghazal hits and timeless Bollywood classics at De Montfort Hall in Leicester (28) and Indig02 in London (29). The show will feature talented musicians and acclaimed artist Jaswinder Singh.
  22. Shah Rukh Khan’s gamble: Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan will perhaps take the biggest gamble of his career by playing a dwarf in acclaimed director Aanad L Rai’s next film, which also stars Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma. There will be a whole host of big-name cameos in the comedy-drama, which releases in December.
  23. Classical culture: Classical Indian dance and music fans will once again have plenty of live events to enjoy throughout the year. There will also be loads of music and dance classes available for beginners along with free to attend shows. Log onto www.southasiadance. org.uk, www.bhavan.net, www.darbar. org, www.amc.org.uk, www.sampad. org.uk and www.nehrucentre.co.uk for more information. Also keep checking Eastern Eye’s Things To Do section.
  24. Harbhajan Mann: Singer-turnedactor Harbhajan Mann will go back to doing what he does best and return to the UK for a couple of high-profile shows. Accompanied by a full live orchestra, the popular Punjabi singer will deliver concerts at Birmingham Arena on March 31 and SSE Arena London on April 1. Tickets are on sale now. Visit www.teamhmworldwide.com to find out more.
  25. Brits abroad: British Asian talent will continue making an impressive mark around the world. This includes Dev Patel, Riz Ahmed and Jameela Jamil in Hollywood, music producers like Dr Zeus delivering songs for Bollywood, Zayn Malik and Charli XCX continuing to conquer pop internationally, and British bhangra band Sahara having their song Billo Hai in Pakistani film Parchi. Then there will be many others like independent artists drawing in listeners from around the world through sites like YouTube.
  26. Super streams: Look out for South Asian content available via online streaming sites like Netflix, Amazon and Eros. This includes Bollywood releases, regional Indian language films, Lollywood features, English language content revolving around South Asians and entire TV serials from South Asia.
  27. Box office battles: There will be interesting Bollywood wars throughout the year with films released on the same day fighting for supremacy. The biggest battles will likely take place on Independence Day in August, Diwali in October and December during Christmas. The first highprofile battle will take place this month on January 26 between comedy-drama Padman and action movie Aiyaary.
  28. Independent music: Talented British Asian artists will continue to bring new ideas to the music scene. There will be singles, mixtapes, interesting collaborations and live performances from exciting newcomers helping to redefine music. Keep in touch with Eastern Eye, which has the longest running Asian music pages anywhere in the world, to see who to look out for.
  29. Irrfan Khan: In terms of diversity, the Indian actor will be the one to watch this year and seen in everything from big Bollywood films to projects in Hollywood. He will remain connected to low budget meaningful cinema and has some surprise announcements in terms of more high-profile projects.
  30. Hot Stories: Last but not least, there will of course be hot stories, scandals, unexpected twists, big film releases, new projects, big-name celebrities giving interviews, surprises and a lot more. Eastern Eye will be there every step of the way and hopefully you will be accompanying us in the 12 months ahead.